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Caught Drink Driving

By: Dave Howell - Updated: 10 Sep 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Drink Driving Blood Alcohol Level Breath

The police can stop you if they suspect you are driving under the influence of alcohol. Also, if the police suspect you are about to drive a vehicle (for instance you have your keys in your hands and are just leaving a pub) you can also be stopped and asked to take a drink-driving test. You may also be asked to take a breath test if you are involved in a road traffic accident.

There are three general drink-driving offences:

  • Being in charge of a vehicle when you are over the legal alcohol limit.
  • Driving a vehicle whilst over the legal alcohol limit.
  • When stopped by the police failing to give a breath test.

At the Roadside

The first test that you will take after the police have stopped you will be a breath test. You are breaking the law if you refuse to take a breath test, but if you do refuse you will be arrested and taken to a police station where a sample of your blood or urine will be taken for testing. Note that only a doctor can take a sample of your blood, and only with your consent.

At the Police Station

When you arrive at the police station two samples will be taken. The lowest reading will be used as evidence in your case. You should be given a printout of the alcohol level that has been detected for your own records. Usually the samples are just breath samples, but the police can request that you give a blood or urine sample. This may happen if you are unable to give a breath sample, as you are too drunk. Also, the police may not have a breath device or a qualified officer to operate it available. A doctor may also have informed the police that your condition may be because of drugs and not alcohol.

What Happens if I am Charged?

If your alcohol tests are positive you will be told your rights and cautioned about anything you say can be used in evidence against you. The details of your offence will be recorded on your charge sheet that you will have to sign. You will be given a copy for your records. You will then be free to go and expected to appear at the court at the stated date and time on your charge sheet.

The Penalties

If you are found guilty of drink-driving the penalties are:
  • A ban from driving for at least 1 year.
  • A fine of up to £5,000.
  • Between 3 and 11 points to be put on your licence.
  • A prison sentence of up to 6 months.

What are the Legal Alcohol Levels?

You can be found guilty of drink driving if you have the following levels of alcohol in your blood:
  • 35 microgrammes of alcohol in a100 millilitres of your breath.
  • 80 milligrammes of alcohol in a 100 millilitres of your blood.
  • 107 milligrammes of alcohol in a 100 millilitres of your urine.

Note that if one of the two breath tests you will take is below 39 microgrammes you will not be charged. If your breath test is between 40 and 50 microgrammes you must be offered the chance to give an alternative blood or urine specimen. However, if your breath test is over 51 microgrammes you will be automatically charged and face an appearance in court.

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[Add a Comment]
Hi nic: I blew 41 last week now appearing in court next week. Just wanted to know what happened to you in court if you don't mind me asking. Thanks
Dave - 10-Sep-17 @ 1:34 PM
I blew 40 but was not offered a blood or urine sample. Im due in court next week. What could be the possible outcome, does it look like ill lose my license?
Nic - 31-Aug-17 @ 2:52 PM
I blew 54 it's my first offence what am I likely to get
Will - 29-Aug-17 @ 1:58 PM
I forgot to mention that I had a bottle of wine whilst walking home from the rtc
Gman - 14-Jul-17 @ 12:21 AM
I had a Rtc last week. My car has now been written off. Nobody was injured. I was driving through country lanes, swirved to avoid a small fox, then collided with a low stone narrow bridge. I was unable to contact the police at the time as of location and no signal on the mobile phone. I therefore walked towards the direction of my home. The policepicked me up a mile and a half away from my car (35 mins). I was cooperative and admitted driving. I was breathalised and arrested. This was at 2345hr. I had 2 ciders at 7pm and was well steaming the night before. I blew 126. Any advice please?
Gman - 14-Jul-17 @ 12:19 AM
I am type 1 diabetic had 3 glass of wine and 1 and half Guinness then slept 3 and half to 4 Hours then drove didn't eat much i blew 65 roadside but 105 at the police station while beginning to feel hypo but i had no IV blood test why? After blood sugar reading was done it was 14 blood sugar but felt hypo is there complication because ketone and Acetone levels are greater in t1 diabetics...I had lost control but hit no one or nothing Airbag Came undone should I not of been taken to hospital... Please help with advice as on bail till 12th May with out charge but cant afford solicitor... Have my licence 3 half yrs and don't drink on any regular scale..
Morgano - 2-May-17 @ 3:24 AM
I had a couple of beers in the early afternoon (2x 600ml Cobra) but unfortunately hadnt eaten. I later drove at 5pm. I felt absolutely fine but rear ended a van. It was damage only. The driver stated no injury (but later said his back hurt). We exchanged particulars, He told me he had called police because of his company policy. I said there was no requirement for police and I was going home. I locked up my car and a nearby resident who had seen I was very distraught (my car was a classic that I had for 20 years and the front was totalled.) offered me a lift home which I gratefully accepted. I got home and I was in a terrible mental state, I downed 3 more Cobras and suddenly there was police smashing at my door! I let the officer in, and he questioned me without caution. He asked when I had last had a drink and I said a minute ago. I told him I had been drinking heavily since I had returned home. This was some 45 minutes after the accident. He then required me to provide a sample of breath and I had to remind him that there is a legal requirement to perform a breath test at least 20 mins after last consumption. ...... I blew 63. He arrested me, took me halfway across the county to the only working nick available. Up until that point I had been treated well and I had been overly cooperative and friendly. I had been told I would be tested on the EBM, interviewed and quickly released. During my detention check in, I was asked about my medical history and I refused to answer as I deemed it extremely private and personal. At this point the custody Sergeant got nasty. The conveying officers were also giving arrest story to the custody officer (the arresting officer was not present) and they failed to mention that I had gone home and started to get drunk. So I piped up to correct and give the true account of the situation. The custody officer told me to shut up so I gave her some lip. I was then tossed in a cell for 6 hours and only given 2 small cups of warm water. Even my glasses were taken from me as a petty punishment, the custody officer smirked as she ordered them off me! Finally (I had no way of knowing how much time had passed) after about 6 hours I was brought out to see a police medic. At detention I asked several things. I wanted to see the FME as my neck and back were hurting (I have crushed vertebraes for which I am on strong pain medication for and the time for my 2nd pill had long since passed by the time I was eventually released) I wanted to speak to a solicitor, I wanted a copy of the code of practice and PACE, and I also wished to make a formal complaint about the rudeness of the custody officer. None of these were given despite me asking everytime my cell was checked. Eventually at about 2.30am I was pulled out and told the interview could not yet go on as the duty solicitor had not arrived. I was exhausted, extremely distraught and feeling very very ill. I reluctantly agreed to be interviewed without a solicitor being prese
Steve - 4-Apr-17 @ 12:05 PM
I had a car accident & had to be cut from my car,back in October.I was coming from a birthday & took my car. I had consumed alcohol. The police came to the hospital a few time to get a statement but was sent away by the Doctor. Now that was nearly 6 months ago. I was just wondering if they'll come back? I was over the limit but apparently it wasn't that bad but I'm still baffled if I'll get another visit?
Dibbles1972 - 1-Apr-17 @ 1:00 AM
@Goodman - hire a good solicitor! It's your only option.
Ryan. - 31-Mar-17 @ 11:10 AM
Over 9 year period ive been charged for drink driving 3 times . What can I do to keep my licence I no longer drink I've grown up . I've learnt my lesson and if I were to loose my licence it would be awful for myself my business and my family what can I do
Goodman - 30-Mar-17 @ 4:05 AM
Was arrested the other day for allegedly drink driving i parked my car on a driveway somewhere and it go5 stuck i left the car then went home but went to pub had five pints of stella on a empty stomach then on way home got jumped and beaten after id got away from attackers i needed to calm down so went for a walk to clear my head and returned to the car to try see if i cud unstick it i tried 2maybe 3 times but no luck got out of the car tuned engine off and the owner of the driveway came out shouting the odds so the police arrived i wasnt in the car but they breathalysed me and i blew 78 and was arrested for drink driving the car was recovered and i was charged when picking the car up from recovery i noticed my windscreen was cracked but the only person who really could of done this was the owner of the driveway any advice ive phoned police and told them and they have checked the police report to see if it was mentioned but wasnt what do i do now
Adgy - 28-Mar-17 @ 10:06 PM
Pippo - Your Question:
I got stopped yesterday and blew 80. Yes I know I shouldn't have done itWhat is the typical outcome, no.previous points on license.Thanks

Our Response:
Please see link here, which will advise further.
CourtroomAdvice - 13-Mar-17 @ 2:11 PM
I got stopped yesterday and blew 80. Yes i know i shouldn't have done it What is the typical outcome, no.previous points on license. Thanks
Pippo - 12-Mar-17 @ 7:42 PM
Hi I have been pulled up by the police the other night for drink driving at the road side I blow 65 when I got to the police station my second blow test was 47I passed my test November last year do you think I will lose my licensealso I hadn't eating since breakfast
Jacqui - 12-Mar-17 @ 12:45 PM
I was waiting in my car to be picked up from the pub was absolutely pouring rain and snow/sleet.I was waiting to be collected and waited in the car with heating on and two police came buy and arrested me, took a breathalyser at the scene I blew 80. Got to police station and they took my blood I have not heard anything and it's been 3 months since.
Kyle - 8-Mar-17 @ 5:02 PM
I was arrested last week for drink driving, I was sat waiting for my friend, wasn't driving, although my keys were in the ignition. I blew 40 at station and was refused a blood test, the officer admitted he was gutted as he thought I would blow well more, I explained I'd had nothing to eat that day. Was put in a cell for just over an hour then released without being interviewed or making a statement? Will I definately be banned?
jobo - 20-Feb-17 @ 12:35 AM
Hello, it's been over a month since I attempted suicide by drunkenly driving my car into a wall and I still haven't had an appointment for the magistrates, does anyone know how long it takes before I get a court date? it's been nearly 6 weeks I just want to get it over with! Does anyone have any experience of what happens at court? I expect that I won't be able to explain why I did what i did but I just want to know whether I'm likely to go to prison, if so that's the end of my life anyway.
stupidgirl - 17-Feb-17 @ 11:16 PM
Hello,had an accident a couple of nights ago when officers arrived i was blowing 0.52,then to the police station first one was 0.48 and second 0.42 after that they took me blood stamps, witch of these one will be now proof?if the blood stamp is under 0.80 I'll be charge? Thank you!
Gabby - 15-Feb-17 @ 7:22 PM
Kiz - Your Question:
Had an accident while driving thought I was fine to drive blew 70 hadn't eaten anything. Got taken to hospital with back pain and had to have blood taken as was not going back to police station. At this point I was then de arrested and NOT put on bail. Can anyone enlighten me on how my situation would pan out ? Many thanks

Our Response:
You can see more via the Drink Driving Ban link here as it is impossible to predict.
CourtroomAdvice - 15-Feb-17 @ 12:34 PM
Had an accident while driving thought I was fine to drive blew 70 hadn't eaten anything. Got taken to hospital with back pain and had to have blood taken as was not going back to police station. At this point I was then de arrested and NOT put on bail. Can anyone enlighten me on how my situation would pan out ? Many thanks
Kiz - 14-Feb-17 @ 5:44 PM
I was not in my car and not driving. My car was parked in a car park. I explained I hadn't driven wasn't going to drive. I was arrested on suspicion of drink driving and wasn't given a breathalyser test. At the station I said I would give a breath test once I knew my daughter (who was with a babysitter) was okay. I was charged with failure to provide a specimen. Why was I not tested at the car park? Why could I be arrested if I was not in the car over 20 ft away from it and asked them to phone my friend to establish she was the driver. I am the vehicle owner
Susie - 5-Feb-17 @ 12:22 PM
Ultimately, it's irrelevant if you work hard. Drink drive and you break the law and risk killing someone, end of!!!
Tiger - 1-Feb-17 @ 7:25 PM
Elmopercy - Your Question:
My boyfriend got stopped in a stationary car on Saturday and blew 75 he told police man he was running the engine to de ice the window the police man said he was going the wrong way up a one way street and arrested him. Due in court on 15th Feb. Wondering what to expect, no previous offences.

Our Response:
I'm afraid it is impossible to predict, but you can see more via the link here. Regardless of what your boyfriend says he was doing (i.e not driving - but di-icing the windows), he is still deemed to be in charge of the car.
CourtroomAdvice - 1-Feb-17 @ 10:15 AM
My boyfriend got stopped in a stationary car on Saturday and blew 75 he told police man he was running the engine to de ice the window the police man said he was going the wrong way up a one way street and arrested him. Due in court on 15th Feb. Wondering what to expect, no previous offences.
Elmopercy - 31-Jan-17 @ 1:09 PM
Same as bongo to a degree. had 4 or 5 drinks in me. Drove at 3am. A guy was randomly out on the middle of a busy 3 lane road. I clipped him. Think another car may of hit him also after me. Guy is dead. Police took no blood or urine sample from me. No cctv, no witnesses. I gave a statement saying i had drink in me & that i may be involved. Investigation still going, a year later & still have my car.. Views or thoughts on outcome or if & what i can be charged with.
TG1 - 23-Jan-17 @ 2:07 PM
I recently attempted suicide by drunkenly driving my car into a wall (tried to make it look like an accident for my family's sake), needless to say i didn't die and instead regained consciousness some time later in A&E surrounded by police. I was fully cooperative giving breath and blood samples and the police (whom i might add were very courteous and forgiving) advised me I would be summoned to court but in the mean time I can just contact my insurance to arrange for a courtesy car (my car was a write off). Once I had provided all samples I was just free to leave the hospital?!?! I spoke to my insurers and obviously my policy was voided as soon as I consumed alcohol so I cannot claim. My question is what happens now? Will I just receive a letter summoning me to court? Also can I still drive until then? - Not that I have a car to drive. I have no idea, I have been open with my employer of whom I am required to drive for but have been signed sick and am currently under the care of the mental health teams.
stupidgirl - 19-Jan-17 @ 12:44 PM
I recently attempted suicide by drunkenly driving my car into a wall (tried to make it look like an accident for my family's sake), needless to say i didn't die and instead regained consciousness some time later in A&E surrounded by police. I was fully cooperative giving breath and blood samples and the police (whom i might add were very courteous and forgiving) advised me I would be summoned to court but in the mean time I can just contact my insurance to arrange for a courtesy car (my car was a write off). Once I had provided all samples I was just free to leave the hospital?!?! I spoke to my insurers and obviously my policy was voided as soon as I consumed alcohol so I cannot claim. My question is what happens now? Will I just receive a letter summoning me to court? Also can I still drive until then? - Not that I have a car to drive. I have no idea, I have been open with my employer of whom I am required to drive for but have been signed sick and am currently under the care of the mental health teams.
stupidgirl - 18-Jan-17 @ 6:11 PM
@Cathy - If your liver isn't metabolising properly it can take longer to break down the unitts. But if you were swaying in an out of lanes and were on your phone, it's lucky you didn't cause an accident - then you'd be facing a prison sentence!
EdH - 9-Jan-17 @ 1:59 PM
Incorrect info on charge sheet ask for sample yest blood urine but was refused I will loose my job 46 was highest reading
cathy - 9-Jan-17 @ 5:40 AM
I was pulled for swaying in and out of lanes at 4am, I was on my phone and had a few drinks, I blew 54 roadside and 54 twice at the police station (they seemed shocked it was exactly the same) I'd only had a couple of glasses of wine and genuinely thought I was ok, I had the morning before just landed from a 10 hour flight I was jet lagged been drinking on the plane I have no idea how much I had drank on the plane as the air hostesses poured the drinks, I had also had 2 codeine tablets in the air as I am a bas flyer and just wanted to go sleep, I don't know if being jet lagged, taking tablets and drinks on the plane could of effected me. Any advise on if they could of? Especially the codeine. Thanks
Cathy - 8-Jan-17 @ 10:44 PM
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